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Jesse Williams Leaves ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After Season 17

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Actor Jesse Williams is hanging up his scrubs and white coat, following the announcement that he will be leaving the popular ABC series, Grey’s Anatomy.

According to Deadline, Williams, who plays Dr. Jackson Avery, was first introduced on the show halfway through the sixth season and has been a part of the award-winning series for nearly 12 years and 250 episodes.

“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen]. As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds,” Williams said in an official statement to Deadline. “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”

Williams’ final episode on Grey’s Anatomy, “Tradition,” will air May 20.

RELATED: Jesse Williams On Backlash To His Famous 2016 BET Awards Speech

In 2016, Williams was awarded BET’s Humanitarian Award and went viral for his powerful and political speech. At the time, the vocal human rights activist was the documentary’s executive producer, Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement. 

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind,” he said near the end of his speech. “While extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

Watch his 2016 BET Humanitarian Award speech below:

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